Fighting for Grandparents Who Have Lost the Ability to Enjoy Their Grandchildren When Divorce, Separation, or Death Occurs
Explaining how grandparents can legally claim the right to visit or care for their grandchildren in Tennessee
Sadly, when parents divorce or separate, the families break apart. The mother only wants to spend time with her family and the father with his family. The relatives of the other parent’s family are often only able to spend time with the child when the child stays with the co-parent. For grandparents, the loss of contact with their grandchildren can be especially traumatic.
At the Law Office of Tara Carter, we represent grandparents who desperately want to spend more time with their grandchildren – especially if their child has died or is incapacitated, or has minimal visitation rights for any reason. Our Middle Tennessee grandparents’ rights lawyers fight to show grandparents have the proper legal standing to bring a claim for visitation rights and that the child will suffer harm if the grandparents are removed from the child’s lives. We negotiate grandparent visitation agreements and file claims to enforce Tennessee grandparent’s rights.
Establishing the right to bring a grandparent visitation claim
While parents generally have a significant say in when their parents can see their grandchildren, Tennessee does recognize some grandparent visitation rights when the loving relationship between the parents has ended. Tennessee requires that grandparents prove that the following requirements are met before family courts will grant them the right to grandchild visitation.
- Legal standing. Our Middle Tennessee grandparents’ visitation lawyers work to show that one of the following conditions has been met:
- The parents are divorced, legally separated, or weren’t married to each other
- A parent has been missing for six months or more or a parent has died
- The grandchild lived with a grandparent for 12 months or more and was removed from the grandparent’s home by a parent
- For 12 months or more, the grandparents and grandchildren have had a “significant existing relationship.”
- Legal harm. The family court will then review if ending the grandparent-grandchild relationship will cause the grandchild substantial harm:
- Ending the relationship will cause the child to suffer severe emotional harm
- The grandparent was the grandchild’s primary caregiver
- Other evidence of substantial harm
- The grandparent-grandchild relationship was significant. Grandparents can meet these criteria if:
- The grandchild lived with the grandparent for six months or more
- The grandparent was the grandchild’s full-time caretaker for six months or more
- The grandparent and grandchild frequently spent time with each other for a year or more.
Additional Nashville and Goodlettsville grandparents’ rights factors
Some of the added factors the family court judge will review to determine if grandparent visitation is in the best interest of the children are:
- The quality of the relationship
- The length of the relationship
- The preferences of older children
- The underlying parental divorce and custody agreements between the parents
- The grandparent’s good faith desire to spend time with the grandchildren
- Any unfitness or abuse issues
- The hostility between the parents
Grandparents include biological grandparents, the spouses of biological grandparents, and the parents of parents who adopted a child.
Talk with an experienced Middle Tennessee grandparent’s rights attorney today
At the Law Office of Tara Carter, we help grandparents document and prove the amount of time they have spent with their grandchildren, the quality of the relationship, and the damage the children would suffer if they couldn’t see their grandparents. The bond between grandparent and grandchild should be one of the great joys of life. Our Middle Tennessee grandparents’ visitation attorneys work to preserve that especially important bond.
To learn more about your rights to visit with your grandchildren, please phone our office at (615) 495-6000 or fill out our contact form. We represent grandparents in Nashville, Brentwood, Lebanon, Brentwood, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville, Goodlettsville, and surrounding locations.